I wanted to test the higher ISO values to see where the noise starts to happen.

Canon T2i has been discontinued, replacement is the Canon T6i: B&H | Amazon

I hear people like Philip Bloom and others talk about not going over too high of an ISO value (1600) because the video will become noisy, so I thought I would give it a try to see what ISO values start to introduce noise.

In this video I try the ISO’s at 400, 800, 1600 and 3200. To be honest I didn’t see that much noise at 3200 and I am not sure why. I am guessing it is because I am using a fast lens f/1.8 and I have plenty of light from my sliding doors in my office.

Even though this test should have been done at night I learned a lot from it for the video interviews that I normally do.


Higher ISO values for video at 720p is much more forgiving than I thought with a good amount of light. However this is not the case when viewing pictures shoot at ISO 3200.


  • I’ve got you beat not only am I not schooled in the way of video, I’m also not schooled in the way of photography. I have always used point and shoot for stills and video and my friends have told me that I’ve out grown my point and shot camrea.

    Here is there work http://www.redcarpetphotographers.com/index.php?splash=1

    My friends I have an eye for what to shoot I just don’t have the gear to make my photos work. So I’ve been reading the manual and I have to stop every page to look up camera jargon i.e.; F-Stop,ISO,Shutter Speed. I’ve been using this guy so far to learn about DSLR’shttp://www.digital-slr-guide.com/what-is-a-digital-slr.html
    I’ve bookmarked you now to figure out DSLR video.THX

  • Lencho, thanks for bookmarking my new site!

    I have a ton to learn with video, so I hope I can help others with this site.

  • ISO noise is dramatically more apparent in the shadows/dark area of an image, so if the scene you’re shooting is lit well, chances are that there isn’t enough dark areas in the footage that make the noise really stick out. This is probably why you’re not seeing much of a difference. Try pointing the camera at light bulb. Even at ISO 12800, you’ll get a pure white image with absolutely no noise. You can easily monitor the noise level if you use the digital zoom function and zoom into a darker area of the footage. You’ll see a sandstorm in the shadows at around 1600.

    Also, because H.264’s compression is a “perceptual compression”, the original footage may not look too bad, but once you start color correcting these high ISO video’s, “you’ll reveal all kinds of nastiness the camera thought you’d never see.”

    Last quote borrowed from Mr. Stu Maschwitz from his article, “Color Correcting Canon 7D Footage” :


    Sorry for the long post… I hope you’re enjoying your new camera!

  • Hey dave. Love that you’re learning this and sharing with the public. If you have any questions feel free to hit me up. I have also recently started an aggregator type site to try to build a community around this new video dslr tech that’s been hitting the market. I just bought a canon 5D about a week ago so this was my first weekend testing it out. I love it. Being use to shooting on HVX’s and Z1U’s, It’s so much easier to make things look amazing. Anyway, would love your published feeds, It would help me get with content, and help you with Traffic. The site is http://www.slrhq.com Take care.

  • I like your idea and I’m going to follow the site. I’m going to get a t2i in the end of May. You haven’t done a video for a while, here’s a few things you should learn and make videos about:
    -exposure and shutterspeeds
    -objectives, focal length, aperture, magnification
    -image stabilization
    -focusing, AF and MF
    -rolling shutter (google it)
    -rule of thirds
    -lighting and flashes
    -video formats (720p, 1080p, 720i, PAL/NTSC etc.)
    -Color correction (CC)

    Now go get some videos done, see you in your next post.

  • On the subject of ISO’s and low light shootings (low light seems to create quite a buzz around the web): I’ve seen several beatiful examples, but since most clips on the web are half res at best (maybe even 640 x 360), I’m wondering if they all look “too good” as opposed to full HD samples. Any takes on this? Thanks…

    kind regards,

  • That’s an interesting point Michael. I guess the only way to test that is watch it on Vimeo on your HD TV and then watch the raw footage from your camera on the TV as well with a shot done at night.

  • Hi Dave,

    I have bought t2i last week and shooting some videos but whenever i test that video it doesn’t run smooth get stuck and run, specially when i move my camera from one side to other side and not getting the quality as i can see in your video specially in low light and I have used ISO 400 and 800, 200 is too dark.
    Plz let me know your setting.

    Kind Regards,

  • @NKhan, can you show my a video you have on line to see the issue?

    @Pauli those are great topics, I will try to work on those.

  • Hi there,

    I love your tutorials. I just got my T2i and i am a newbie in the digital world. I have a question and I can’t seem to find an answer to it. So I am hoping that you can help me out. For some reason, my videos became very choppy/ sticky after using sony vegas to edited it. I am not sure what the issue is. Could it be my computer how i recorded the clips? I’ve played with the settings but so far no result to my question. So if you could please let me know what I have done wrong…thank you in advance


  • Note about ISO…Im not film or camera expert but studied physics and I am dslr video buff…
    ISO in the film days was a measure of the film chemicals(grains) speed of absorbing light (actually photons) so that is why is it called “speed”, but ISO in digital sensor world is the amount of electrical magnification of the signal coming from the collection of photons on the sensor, so more magnification of good photons results in more magnification of spurious electrical signals (ie noise). Im not expert but that is my interpretation. Someone please correct me if I am off target.